A new map published by fitness tracker Strava offers a fascinating peek into how and where people exercise all over the world, including right here in Philly.
While the map’s release did cause some trouble—it revealed activity at certain military bases locations—what we find more interesting is that it shows the exercise habits of Philadelphians and where you’re most likely to find people running or cycling.
Not surprisingly, Philly’s parks are big winners, namely Fairmount Park and the Wissahickon, which is particularly chockfull of both hiking and mountain biking trails. Kelly Drive and West River Drive, which sandwich the Schuylkill River, also glow bright white in the map, making them popular spots to run and bike, as well.
Also not a surprise is the Schuylkill River Trail, which along the river from Philadelphia and all the way to Valley Forge National Park. In Philly, the multi-use trail stretches for 10 miles and is often packed when the weather’s nice.
If we look solely at just popular cycling routes, streets where there are already bike lanes come out white hot, including Spruce, Pine, and Spring Garden streets.
Also fascinating: The map reveals water sports. The visual of the Schuylkill River, with its canoe routes highlighted down to Boathouse Row, is poignant.
Outside of Center City, Pennypack Park in Northeast Philly also proves to be a hot spot for both runners and cyclists. The 1,300-acre park runs along a creek all the way to the Delaware River and stretches for nine miles.
You can see the heatmap on its own here. It’s no doubt a new way of looking at Philly, and perhaps a pretty useful perspective to consider for future planning and infrastructure.